Pruning Trees

August 16th, 2011

We started the winter prune of our formed apples, pears & quince trees today. After my 2 week visit to France, learning the traditional pruning methods at the Prieure D’ Orsan, I am ready to experiment on the trees at Babylonstoren.

The 2-3 years old trees in our garden already have their basic shape, and the challenge is to form fruit continuously along the main stem with the side branches as short as possible.  Starting with the fan shaped quince with five spreading arms and the simple U-shaped pears, we had to be brave and cut almost 2/3 of this year’s grow to encourage the development of eyes from the bottom to the top of the stems. With this method, it can take up to 10-15 years for the leader to complete the desired the form, compared to commercially trained trees where the leader gets to the top of the structure within 2-3 years.

Yours optimistically,

Liesl


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